I knew something was not quite right when the nipple on my left breast became inverted, after all for 54 years it had not looked like that. I already had a referral for a mammogram and ultrasound from when I had told my GP I had felt a lump a couple of months earlier but that lump seemed to have miraculously disappeared. I summoned the courage to book in for the scans and asked my husband if he would accompany me. My GP’s office called that afternoon asking me to come in for an appointment the next day – I then knew something was definitely not right. The GP showed us the report on Saturday July 21st, my husband’s birthday, which included the words ‘suspicious and malignant.’
Fortunately, my husband and I both work in health professions and sought advice from friends and colleagues about the best way to proceed. I quickly saw a breast surgeon who recommended further tests and a needle core biopsy confirmed that the tumour was malignant. The scariest thing was hearing the word ‘cancer’ and its connotations. I have never thought why me, as why not me, if one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the odds are pretty good (or bad)!
The diagnosis is early breast cancer. It is treatable and curable – very nice words from my surgeon! I have amazing support from family, friends and work colleagues, who are my second family and my closest friends. I will be doing the 10km walk on my 55th birthday, Sunday 2 December with a very good friend, Fiona Ryan, and my long time running friend, and boss, Belinda Gabbe. We have created a team called the “PET Pacers” and are hoping to raise substantial funds for BCNA. I have found the BCNA website an invaluable source of information and the My Journey Kit including a journal, information booklet and resource for partners (I wish I could fix it), fantastic resources. Please join us in supporting BCNA to give support to all women affected by breast cancer.